One of the more popular attractions at the Sydney Royal Easter Show is the Great Backyard Pumpkin Challenge in the Flower and Garden Pavilion.
The annual competition, which receives entrants from across the country, showcases the creative flair of some of the best growers across the nation.
But on close inspection of the exhibit, eagle-eyed fans have noticed a subtle detail, which Royal Agricultural Society counsellor Rowena Peachtree says has a very important role.
Speaking to Show Radio, Rowena says there is a genuine risk of pumpkins exploding due to spoilage, so to prevent accidents they have installed a safety moat around the exhibit.
“When we create our display, we often have to create a moat around the pumpkins because large pumpkins can start to deteriorate,” Rowena said.
“We walk through the pumpkins, get down close and sniff each pumpkin to make sure we can’t smell any aroma coming from them that would indicate they are starting to turn.
“They build up with gas inside and basically just explode and make an awful mess – they leak everywhere and it takes us days to clean them up,” she added.
Despite the shock revelation, the RAS counsellor went on to say visitors are not in any danger because they have procedures in place to protect everyone – including the moat.
“We haven’t had any issues in the past couple of years because we’re quite conscious of it now… we do keep an eye on [the pumpkins].
“We get in there every morning and make sure they are safe to stay on display,” Rowena said, before urging people to visit the exhibit at the Flower and Garden Pavilion.
“So come and have a look at the pumpkins. I don’t suggest you poke them – just in case that is one of the ones that could explode,” she added.